Libby Ames's Reviews > Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
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Mar 22, 11

bookshelves: american-fiction, science-fiction
Read in March, 2011

I approached this book without much enthusiasm, but was pleasantly surprised. Written during the height of the cold war, Pat Frank creates an intriguing novel describing a nuclear holocaust and its consequences. I enjoyed his writing for many reasons, but most of all because he showed the horror of nuclear war while still preserving hope in humanity.

The story focuses on the small town of Fort Repose in Florida and how its citizens are affected. During my reading I came to the natural realization that my emergency preparedness is not nearly adequate. Also, my knowledge of basic survival skills is lacking. I may be ahead of some, but I am not ready for a true emergency. The power of Frank's novel comes through the survival of his characters. People work together, pooling resources and ignoring the constraints of social inequality and color (a huge barrier at the time). Lawlessness does occur, but the people work to overcome that and other natural problems. Alas, Babylon proves the danger of nuclear war, but its overriding theme is the strength of humanity in times of adversity.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Cheryl I read this book a while ago but I forget if I put it on goodreads or not. I really liked it. I thought it was a good description of what a nuclear attack would be like. I liked the problems and fears that were overcome and the way the community came together to help each other. It also made a good point of needing to be ready to care for yourself and your family and not rely on the government to take care of you.


message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi I read this book back in middle or high school and it has always stuck with me. Although I'm sure it was much more frightening when it was written in the 1960s and the threat of nuclear attack was much more real, it's still alarming to think about even now. The recent near-disaster in Japan with the nuclear reactors made me think of it as well. And I agree--I'm not nearly prepared enough!


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